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Common financial mistakes during a divorce

Sometimes, Virginia couples going through the divorce process fail to understand just how expensive it can be. From paying alimony and child support to splitting up family assets, divorce can cause a personal financial earthquake. But, there are some specific financial mistakes that many divorcing spouses throughout the country repeatedly make. So, here are two financial areas that divorcing spouses should be aware of when going through a divorce. Understanding these areas may help them keep more of their hard earned dollars.

Divorcing couples often fail to properly account for their assets. This often happens because, during the marriage, one of the spouses takes responsibility for all of the couple's finances. This is fine during the marriage, but if the couple decides to split up, one spouse may not be aware of all of the couple's assets.

For this reason, financial experts encourage both spouses to know details of their assets and liabilities. Both parties should know where copies of their financial records are, including tax returns, investment statements, retirement statements and everyday household bills.

Another common financial mistake that is made during a divorce is for one spouse to insist on remaining in the spouses' primary residence. This desire may stem from not wanting to uproot their children from their school and friends, but many financial experts stress that a house that is run by two incomes may not be able to run by one. Once someone is on their own, that spouse is now responsible for taking care of that house. This includes expensive items, such as real estate taxes and utilities, as well as any maintenance fees.

There are additional financial mistakes divorcing couples make, including underestimating their taxes and forgetting to pay them. Nonetheless, any Virginia resident who is going through a divorce may want to speak with a family law attorney to discover many of the financial implications of the process.

Source:, "Divorce and money: six costly mistakes," accessed on Jan. 18, 2016

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Alexandria, VA 22314

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